NC man finds perfect gift for wife’s birthday: A $5 lottery ticket that hit a jackpot.

NC Education Lottery

A North Carolina mechanic had trouble believing it when he bought a $5 lottery ticket the day before his wife’s birthday and hit a jackpot, NC lottery officials said Thursday.

“Lo and behold, I thought it was a joke,” 62-year-old Michael Petrivelli said when he claimed his $200,000 prize at lottery headquarters in Raleigh on Wednesday, according to a lottery news release. “I didn’t think it was real.”

Petrivelli became the first top-prize winner in the new “Ice” scratch-off game, officials said.

He beat odds of 1 in 4.37 million, according to the Ice game page on

“It was definitely a nice birthday present for her,” Petrivelli said about his wife, Patricia.

He bought the ticket at the Speedway gas station on Concord Parkway North in Concord.

After taxes, Petrivelli took home $142,501, according to the lottery.

“We are redoing our house right now, so this will really come in handy,” Petrivelli said.

The Ice game debuted in December with three top $200,000 prizes. Two remain to be claimed.